Orenthal James Simpson, a former NFL superstar, was released from a Nevada correctional center at the beginning of this month on October 1st. Nicknamed OJ, he is most known for his 1995 acquittal in one of the biggest trials in American history, where he was found not guilty for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Although he was found not guilty in this criminal trial he was found liable in a civil court two years later and was ordered to pay $33.5m to the Goldman family. Yet most of this hasn’t been paid - even to this date.
In September of 2007 OJ was incarcerated for theft in which Simpson claimed he was retrieving his own items after they were taken away from him after his acquittal. Two of the five men he led into The Palace Station casino in Las Vegas were armed, although OJ claims he was unaware. He said he only wanted to retrieve items that belonged to him such as mementoes and family photos but it is thought that other sports stars memorabilia was also taken. This resulted in Simpson being sentenced to nine-years for armed robbery. Many think the judge on his robbery case was harsh on Simpson when issuing length of sentence for this particular crime, and it is thought that she was making up for time she felt he had deserved for the murder of his wife and her friend. This poses the question: Did OJ get what he deserved and was justice found?
Nicole Brown was OJ’s second wife. They were married in 1985 and had two kids together. Yet, Nicole filed for divorce in 1992 claiming irreconcilable differences. It’s thought that OJ was abusive towards Nicole throughout their marriage, in one instance Nicole called 9-1-1 and claimed OJ was going to beat her. In recordings OJ can be heard in a fit of rage in the background whilst Nicole sounds terrified.
On the night of June 12th 1994, both Nicole and Ron were found dead at her home, both in a rather gory state. When the police arrived at the scene, the victims were thought to have been dead for two hours. They found a single bloody glove on the scene amongst other evidence such as a shoe print in the blood and some DNA evidence. Blood matching the victims was found at Simpsons Rockingham Estate on his white Ford Bronco and the other bloody glove matching the one found at the murder scene was also discovered. DNA evidence at this time, although new in solving crimes, was clearly presented at both the murder scene and OJ’s home – giving them the warrant to arrest him. Over a lengthy criminal trial with OJ’s defence lawyers ‘The Dream Team’, they managed to convince the jury – mainly made up of black people, minus two – that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict OJ. They convinced the jury that they had reason the believe that the LAPD had set up OJ as they were racists. They also made claims that the DNA was handled clumsily and therefore OJ couldn’t be convicted of his ex-wife’s murder.
Without OJ Simpsons expensive and clever lawyers, would he have still received the not guilty verdict? Would he still be in prison today? At the time everyone had their own verdict on if he was guilty in particular between different races. Although in recent years, the gap has become much smaller. This is probably due to the ‘race card’ played at trial. But it is clear that a lot of people who believed OJ was not guilty at the time if the trail now think otherwise. So if OJ really committed the murder, was 9 years in prison enough punishment for what happened?
OJ, nicknamed “The Juice” hopes to move back to Florida where he was living before the robbery and is apparently looking forward to reuniting with his family and eating a steak. He also plans on getting an iPhone and learning to use modern day technology as it has advanced since he was locked away in 2007.